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Thread: Priming pump

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    Priming pump

    I had been running my pump 24/7 over the weekend trying to clear up some algae. I stopped it to backwash and clean out the pump basket. When I restarted the pump, I can't get it to prime. It runs, but the pressure stays at zero and no water is circulating. Any suggestions on what could be wrong? It is a aqua-flo A series pump.
    16K gal, plaster, with DE filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Priming pump

    Make sure the basket is full of water, the basket lid is on tight, and that there is no air trapped in the filter. There may be an air release valve at the top of the filter for bleeding the air out....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Join Date
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    Sarasota Florida
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    Re: Priming pump

    Also check and make sure nothing is blocking your suction in your skimmer. When you put the skimmer basket back in did you put it in correctly? If you are not sure pull it and turn on the pump and see if it primes.

    Some baskets can actually block the suction if not put in correctly.

    If that all checks full pump basket with water until it seems to fill pipe also. close back up and see if you got it primed.

    Mike
    Kidney shaped ~ 10000 gallon Ig Plaster pool with pool cage. 120sf Cartridge filter. Pentair WhisperFlo WFDS-26, 230 Volt, 7.8/3.0 Amp, 1-1/2 Horsepower 2 speed pump, Solar panels on the roof. Heliotrope HelioMatic 4000D solar controller.

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    Re: Priming pump

    Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately I have tried all of those and still no luck. I have no idea what is wrong. Mostly just annoyed that all the bleach I poured in over the weekend is going to waste.
    16K gal, plaster, with DE filter

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    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    New Jersey
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    653

    Re: Priming pump

    Can you pump to waste? If not, maybe your impeller is loose on the shaft. Are you sure motor is turning? Or maybe you are just getting a hum....start thinking capacitor in that case.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

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    Re: Priming pump

    I can't pump to waste. I've tried all of the settings, waste, filter, recirc nothing happens with any of them. I can see a few air bubbles coming from one of the return jets, but that it about it. I can see the motor turning. Perhaps something is wrong with the impeller. I do have one idea. There has been a slow leak around the shaft for several months now. I should have had someone look at it earlier. My guess is that it is the shaft seal. If it has broken all the way, would that cause me to not be able to prime the pump? It just seems convenient that it happened right as I am backwashing the pump. I went on and ordered a replacement seal kit. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to break down and call the professionals.
    16K gal, plaster, with DE filter

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    Join Date
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    Suffolk, VA, US
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    Re: Priming pump

    Quote Originally Posted by randomlogik
    ...I do have one idea. There has been a slow leak around the shaft for several months now. I should have had someone look at it earlier. My guess is that it is the shaft seal. If it has broken all the way, would that cause me to not be able to prime the pump?...
    My non-expert guess would be "no," based on my own experiences with a bad shaft seal. I let it go for a whole year before attempting repair. The repair failed, and I finally successfully rebuilt the pump this year. During the full 2 years of broken shaft seal, though, the pump never lost prime as a result.

    I would definitely replace the shaft seal, and perhaps all o-ring seals since you'll be breaking it apart. Check out my thread below for the kind of damage that might await you if you don't!

    strange-seal-plate-damage-pentair-whisperflo-pump-t4517.html
    Rectangular Vinyl 20' x 40', 3.5' shallow end, 8' deep end, approx 33,000gal
    1.5 HP Pentair WhisperFlo / 60 gal DE Filter / 2 returns - 1 shallow end wall, 1 deep end floor
    SC-60 SWG / Autopilot Digital Pool Pilot v.4.2 / Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Northwest Indiana
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    Re: Priming pump

    Quote Originally Posted by randomlogik
    I can't pump to waste. I've tried all of the settings, waste, filter, recirc nothing happens with any of them. I can see a few air bubbles coming from one of the return jets, but that it about it. I can see the motor turning. Perhaps something is wrong with the impeller. I do have one idea. There has been a slow leak around the shaft for several months now. I should have had someone look at it earlier. My guess is that it is the shaft seal. If it has broken all the way, would that cause me to not be able to prime the pump? It just seems convenient that it happened right as I am backwashing the pump. I went on and ordered a replacement seal kit. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll have to break down and call the professionals.
    Did you take the top off of the filter? If so did it get sealed properly...Is the O Ring there broken. Also is the water level at the proper level...should be about 2/3 up the skimmer face. I had trouble getting my pump primed, and found both of those to be of issue...Is any water coming into the pump at all from the pool? If not then I would say it is an impeller problem...if it is when you run the pump...then I would say you have air bleeding into your system somewhere. Try re seating your filter cover.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    Re: Priming pump

    Finally got it going! Ended up putting a hose in the inlet and that did the trick. The leak around the shaft is definitely getting worse, and it sounds like it is pulling in air from there. The pressure reading is also a tad lower than normal. Def something is up. The new seal parts should be here monday.
    16K gal, plaster, with DE filter

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    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Suffolk, VA, US
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    62

    Re: Priming pump

    Quote Originally Posted by randomlogik
    ...The new seal parts should be here monday.
    I know your pump a different make and model, but someone posted an excellent photo "how-to" for replacement of the shaft seal of a Pentair Whisperflo. Just in case it's helpful...

    pentair-whisperflow-seal-replacement-how-to-w-photos-t10763.html?hilit=shaft%20seal
    Rectangular Vinyl 20' x 40', 3.5' shallow end, 8' deep end, approx 33,000gal
    1.5 HP Pentair WhisperFlo / 60 gal DE Filter / 2 returns - 1 shallow end wall, 1 deep end floor
    SC-60 SWG / Autopilot Digital Pool Pilot v.4.2 / Polaris 280 w/ Booster Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit

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